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Short:PAR: access using the SIMPLEST of Python.
Author:wisecracker at (Barry Walker)
Uploader:wisecracker tesco net (Barry Walker)
Download: - View contents

Distribution: Public Domain, Emailware, Freeware.


  Requirements Are:-

       A standard A1200.
       Standard OS3.0x or better. 
       PAR_READ.lha from the hard/hack drawer of AMINET IS REQUIRED.
       PAR: device installed and running.
       Python 1.4, minimum installed. This is NO longer on AMINET but I do
       have a copy of the full installation for a stock A1200. Python 1.5.2
       and 2.01 is available on AMINET for more up market MIGGYs however.



Well I am learning the fine arts of Python and what better way of learning
than with experimentation. My main priority is access to the parallel port
and after some hours of book reading and trial and error I finally ended
up with a working example of parallel port access using PAR: as a VOLUME
in READ mode only. There are three sources in here, my very
first stand alone Python program AND a second with very minor modifications
to use Python as a Voltmeter called These two sources are
SOOOOO simple although the source size is large. The vast majority of the
source size is/are comments and nothing else. The third source code is purely the working code only WITHOUT any comments at all
and as you will see it is tiny...

I have found that the statement ~print '\f'~ does NOT clear the screen on
all platforms but does so on the AMIGA so I have used it. This also applies
to Python version 2.4x as Windows ME and XP, (TM), do not respond to this
command in either a GUI or a Command Prompt.

This code MUST have the hardware from PAR_READ.lha in the hard/hack drawer
of AMINET for it to work or it WILL hang if the hardware is NOT connected.
Also my version of Python is 1.4 as that is the only version that works on
my A1200 with 4MB FastRam. Only versions 1.5.2 to 2.01 are available on
AMNIET. Good luck and have fun like I do... :)

This opens up Python for a whole new line for the AMIGA:-

1) A-D Conversion...
2) AC-DC Volmeters, Ammeters and other simple TestGear...
3) Anemometers, Thermometers and other simple Scientific Equipment...
4) As an 8 channel detector of impending doom, e.g. Water Level Alarm etc...

The application list is almost endless.


General usage...

1) Switch OFF the AMIGA and remove any hardware attached to the parallel
2) Connect the home built hardware from the ~PAR_READ.lha~ archive to the
   parallel port.
3) Boot the AMIGA into WorkBench.
4) Start up Python either from an icon or the CLI/Shell. It is assumed that
   Python IS installed AND PYTHON: is its volume name.
5) From the Python prompt ~>>> ~ load and run the file using
   "execfile('PYTHON:Drawer/')<RETURN>" without the quotes where
   "Drawer" is the directory INSIDE the PYTHON: volume where you have put
   these programs.
6) To STOP, NOTE STOP, the program press Ctrl-C and the program will stop.
7) Close down Python and switch off the AMIGA when finished to remove the


The source for

def main():
	while 1:
		pointer = open('PAR:', 'rb', 1)
		mybyte = str(
		print 'Decimal value at the parallel port is:-',ord(mybyte),'.    '

That's all there is to it... :)
This source WILL run as stand alone so that you can see it working BUT the
hardware MUST be attached to the AMIGA parallel port. IF there are NO data
lines used then the value will read 255, (the -ACK line Pin 10 of the
parallel port MUST be toggled continuously for this to work).
As you can see it is ludicrously simple, yet data is being grabbed from
an external source...

The other two sources are mainly comments but look much prettier on screen.

(I now await the experts comments pulling these sources apart... :)


The archive is Public Domain/Emailware and you may modify them as you
please for your OWN experiments. See below. I would dearly love an Email
from you even if you think it is absolute rubbish... :)

(Original idea and (C)2006 goes to B.Walker, G0LCU.)



    The Legal Stuff:-

    These programs are Public Domain and no profit will be made from them,
    also all of the files must remain unaltered and intact including this
    one. The author is not responsible for any damage to, or loss of, or
    failure of equipment or data caused in any way by the use of these
    programs. There is NO warranty with the use of these software releases


    Testing Evaluation:-

    A standard A1200 in 2MB, 6MB and 10MB modes using trapdoor memory AND/OR
    PCMCIA memory expansions.

    All test conditions were/are running standard OS3.0x and using standard
    ~topaz 8~ fonts throughout.

    I have no idea what a strange configuration setup will create so refer
    to the ~The Legal Stuff~ above.



  1) DISCONNECT any faulty equipment under test from the MAINS supply.
  2) If a DC supply is used do NOT reverse polarity the connections.
  3) Do NOT power up any electronic item until it is safe to do so.
  4) CHECK and RECHECK all of your construction and repair work thoroughly.
  5) Handle ALL tools used with care.
  6) Beware of ALL types of solvents, glues and etching fluids.
  7) NEVER leave a soldering iron switched on unattended.
  8) KEEP everything OUT of the reach of small children.
  9) Switch OFF the AMIGA before disconnecting or connecting any hardware.
 10) And finally read 1) to 9) again.



   Mr Barry Walker, G0LCU,
   70 King George Road,
   LE11 2PA,

   Email:-     wisecracker at

   Author of the ~TestGear?~ projects in the ~hard/hack~ drawer of AMINET.


   A very useful HardWare related site, (C) Anthony Hoffman, for
   modifications, schematics, repairs and the like is:-



Contents of dev/src/PAR_Python.lha
---------- ----------- ------- ------- ------ ---------- ------------ -------------
[generic]                  267     628  42.5% -lh5- 16ea May 15 21:57
[generic]                 3120    7327  42.6% -lh5- addd May 15 21:54 PAR_Python/PAR_Python.readme
[generic]                  196     317  61.8% -lh5- 34c3 May 15 19:27 PAR_Python/
[generic]                  138     183  75.4% -lh5- 3a5a Jan 15 20:35 PAR_Python/
[generic]                  200     330  60.6% -lh5- 8ad3 May 15 19:27 PAR_Python/
[generic]                 1331    3391  39.3% -lh5- c816 Jan 15 22:00 PAR_Python/
[generic]                  200     330  60.6% -lh5- 8fc7 May 15 19:27 PAR_Python/
[generic]                 1457    3704  39.3% -lh5- 6dfa Jan 15 22:00 PAR_Python/
[generic]                  201     330  60.9% -lh5- cc61 May 15 19:27 PAR_Python/
---------- ----------- ------- ------- ------ ---------- ------------ -------------
 Total         9 files    7110   16540  43.0%            May 20 15:37

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